Posted on in Christian Education Blog by The Rev. David Marshall
Last Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to spend two full days at the Inhabit Conference in Seattle. This conference is attended by Christian leaders from all over the world. It was a most amazing experience to be there among the followers of Christ and to listen to several outstanding speakers. The energy that was generated by the group was a blessing to all of us in attendance. During the two days we broke into smaller groups, and the learning, listening, and sharing was beautiful.
There is a new movement in our country toward a more involved church. We no longer can sit with our doors open and hope that people will come in. We have to reach out to our neighborhoods and into our communities. We have to listen to what their needs are and what they have to offer, and we need to find out how we can work together in partnership and do the work that God is calling us to do.
We at St. Dunstan’s are already a part of this growing outreach movement. We are involved with the Greenwood Food Bank, Matthew House, Tent City 3, the Mission to Seafarers, New Beginnings, and more. Our youth are taking an active role as well as they work with Ryan’s House for homeless teenagers, Seattle Children’s Hospital, World Vision, the 30 Hour Famine, and the Heifer Project; and more opportunities are awaiting them.
I spent time with other youth and children leaders, and we all shared our ideas and thoughts. As I look at what we are already doing at St. Dunstan’s, I am warmed by the fact that we are on the right path. I shared our youth group’s mission trip experience last summer and our continued relationship with the homeless teens of Ryan’s House. It did not surprise me to learn that programs similar to this can be found in other parts of the world including Australia, the UK, Canada, and elsewhere.
I am so proud of our young people at St. Dunstan’s and their eagerness to help others. Whether they are working on Easter baskets, presenting gifts at the offertory, helping our friends in Tent City 3, or going on a mission trip to help the homeless teens on Whidbey Island, our children and youth are learning that there are opportunities for them to help others, and they are making a difference in people’s lives.
May we all continue to listen and hear what God is calling us to do, and may we all continue to share the blessings that He has given us with others as we continue on our journey of faith.
Mary E. Pacher